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Stock Watch: Rory rising, Open modernization falling

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Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Rory (+10%): At the moment there is nothing quite as exhilarating as McIlroy in full flight, which he was during another wire-to-wire major victory. He’s not the next Tiger, nor does he have to be. But by age 30 he’ll be one of the all-time greats.

Lydia Ko (+8%): After another W, the 17-year-old has just topped $1 million in career earnings. That’s really depressing, because at that age I made $5.25 an hour while driving the range picker.

Rickie (+6%): For years we criticized the Orange One for showing more style than substance. Not anymore. His major record this season – all top 5s – is awfully stout.

Sergio (+4%): He sent a charge through Hoylake with some inspired play on Sunday, but after a late bogey he ultimately fell short (again). Now that he’s learned how to lose with grace and humility, it’s just a matter of time before he gets off the major schneid … right?

Jim Furyk (+3%): Gotta appreciate how this aging warrior continues to grind. Back in the OWGR top 10 for the first time since February 2011, the 44-year-old has virtually played his way onto the Ryder Cup team.

Tom Watson (+1%): Last week the captain finished the Open tied with Duf and ahead of guys like Kooch, Tiger and Bubba. If he thought that was tough, just wait until he has to announce his wild-card picks.


FALLING

Bubba (-1%): His incredible shot-making would seem to fit the Open’s unique challenge, but Watson’s maddening lapses of concentration make you wonder if he’ll ever embrace the imperfections of links golf.

DJ (-2%): Speaking of maddening: Remember when Johnson was the most gifted 20-something player in golf? Rory has three majors; DJ has just as many letdowns.

Tiger (-4%): Look, it was a bonus that he even made the cut, given where he was four months ago, but no matter how you slice it, in the short-term, not much was accomplished at the Open: Woods posted his worst 72-hole finish in a major, made no dent in the FedEx Cup standings, and lost to the Ryder Cup captain.

Modernization of the Open (-7%): The R&A went to a two-tee start in anticipation of what apparently was the worst storm in the 143-year history of the event … and it proved to be the most benign conditions of the week. British media criticized Rory for ignoring a young boy’s autograph request after winning the Open … except signing something before his card would have been against the rules. And the fools who scream “Get in the HOLE!” and harass players during their rounds evidently made it across the pond. Too bad the wireless Internet hasn’t yet entered the 2000s.

Betting (-9%): The R&A says players have signed an anti-betting waiver each year since 2011. Players don’t recall ever signing one. There is no such mandate for golf writers, however, so I can kiss those hard-earned 3 £ goodbye.